Bad Weather Everywhere – Dolly Travels

Author: , June 16th, 2016

Venice storm - DollyDid you think I have forgotten how to write? I have not forgotten; however, I have been distracted.

Venice, with all its antique charms, also had some weather problems that made sightseeing a bit difficult.

Venice is indeed charming, especially when the sun is shining on those red tile roofs and illuminating the white buildings, making them shine.

But wait. Do you see that black cloud coming in from the west? That cloud means trouble.

We carried umbrellas with us at all times. One never know when the rains might come, and when they do come , they can be spectacular. My tour group of last year can attest to that. Last year, we were in Murano when the black cloud appeared over the lagoon. We got onto the vaporetto for the trip back across the lagoon as quickly as we could. While on the boat, the rain came down in buckets. At times, we could hardly see the lagoon. That was pretty scary.

This year, Frank and I did not encounter such a magnificent display of rainfall, but we did get wet and then cold. It was surprising how fast the temperature would plummet. We could be warm, enjoying our gelato and within a half hour we would be wet, chilled, looking for a restaurant that had hot soup.

We did get to see most of the places on our agenda. We were scheduled to leave Venice on Saturday and go to the Dolomites. Unfortunately, for us, rain and thunderstorms, more cold weather was predicted for that area, so we cancelled those plans. For me, that was the most disappointing part of our entire trip. I love going to the Dolomites, especially the Alpe di Suissi area, which was our destination. I did not, however, want to spend all our time in the hotel.

I could not bear to be in the Dolomites and not be able to walk on these trails. That would be torture to me.

With all the weather problems in northern Italy, we decided to go back to Rome. It is warm and sunny here, and Rome is Frank’s favorite city. I wanted to go back to Florence, but it was raining there, also.

Italy’s weather problems are mild compared to what we see is happening in other places in Europe. Paris has been flooded by the River Seine overflowing its banks; there is reported flooding in Bavaria, a rock concert was cancelled after 47 people were injured by lightning. Outside of Europe, I saw on the news that some places in Australia were suffering from major flooding.

So here we are, in Rome again. Frank and I took a long walk up the Via Veneto this morning. When we got back to the hotel, Frank said he had had enough walking for the day, so I went to some of my favorite places by myself: the Spanish Steps (closed for repairs), Piazza Barberini, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon area (Pantheon was closed), Trevi Fountain.

I threw another coin into the fountain to ensure that I will return. I can only hope and pray that this global warming and the subsequent disasters will not continue. We were fortunate that we only had to endure some rain and some cold. I am thankful for that.

More adventures await us. We just have to be patient and flexible.

Until next time,
Arriverderci,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Grand Old Venice – Dolly Travels

Author: , June 12th, 2016

St. Mark's Square - Venice

Venice is like no other city in the world. The buildings are old and some in dire need of repair, yet these buildings seem to hold their grandeur from centuries ago, much like an aged dowager, wearing the same clothing that gave her a sense of glamour in the olden days.

Some of the old palazzos have been restored while others seem to be willing to sink into the depths of the canals, content with their appearance, and in no rush to die.

The most famous of all Venice sights is St. Mark’s Square, with the flamboyant church at its center, the Doge’s Palace at the eastern side and of course, all the very expensive restaurants around the perimeter. Although the pigeons are a nuisance, people still feed them, hold food in their hands while someone takes a picture of the birds eating out of their hands. Feeding the birds is against the law but the practice continues.

We enjoyed a day of walking around this area and a bit further afield. This is the only city that I can say for a fact, where most of the tourists that we encounter, at some time during the day, will have a confused look on their faces as they stop, look at a map, look up at the sky or at the buildings, then turn around and go back the way they came. I do not usually enjoy seeing others in an uncomfortable position; however, I have been in those same circumstances more times than I want to recall. I am just happy that I have company in my “lostness”. Getting lost in Venice is normal.

Venice is a city with no cars, motor scooters or even bicycles. One gets to where they want to be by foot or by water. There are so many little bridges over many small, winding canals. This is a delightful city in which to walk. Some little corners are so picturesque.

As we were wandering around close to lunchtime, we stopped to look at the menu posted for a restaurant on a busy piazza. I said, “This is too much food for lunch.”

The waiter at the door then told us that the same restaurant had a light lunch restaurant right next door. He walked us over there, and we were taken into a lovely quiet garden area. We had a delightful lunch and lingered there, talking, drinking our wine, for almost two hours.

It was an enjoyable afternoon. I treasure these times, and will keep them in my memory bank, as I know I will never find this place again.

We have just one day left here in Venice, then we will be off on some more adventures. I trust that you have enjoyed visiting Venice with us. You didn’t even get lost, did you?

Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Venice Gay Travel Resources

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: Villa Stella, Venice, Italy

Author: , November 8th, 2015

Villa Stella

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.

Villa Stella is a cozy anchient Villa , managed by the same family since 1940 .Stella and Michela ,welcome our guests with friendly and lovely atmosphere , offering 12 bright and confortable rooms , each one different in colors and tapestry .A lovely flowery garden welcome the guests for the breakfasts during the summer months . Our tasty breakfast offers many homemade products , such as marmallade, cake, yougurt.

See the Villa Stella Expanded Listing
on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly ed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Venice, Italy

Globetrotter Girls – Charmed by Venice

Author: , October 11th, 2015

Dani - Venice

Venice was the last stop on my little tour of northern Italy, and it is safe to say that I picked the perfect place for a truly grand finale.

My last visit to Venice was way before the era of digital cameras, and so I was dying to go out with my dSLR camera to photograph the city which is without a doubt one of the most photogenic cities in the world, and I had two amazing days in the lagoon city – definitely a highlight of my September travels.

Of course it’s impossible for me to share only one photo of my time in Venice, so expect a big photo essay which will show you more of my days which were spent walking along the canals, heading up on top of St Mark’s Campanile (bell tower) to enjoy the views, braving the tourist hordes around Piazza San Marcos, enjoying spritzes (the aperitivo Venice is famous for) and enjoying the peace and quiet of the little squares and narrow streets once you cross the Grand Canal and enter the less touristy parts of the city.

By Dani – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls | Venice Gay Travel Resources

Dolly Travels – Venice

Author: , June 18th, 2015

Venice

Wow! How time flies. It seems like jus a few days ago we started our Italy trip in Rome, now here we are in Venice, with only one more day left for our group travel. What adventures we have had, though.

VeniceI last posted from Florence, and as usual, since Florence is my favorite Italian city, I enjoyed that week the most..going to the museums, to the mercato, walking through Florence, sharing meals in the apartment… all are lovely memories.

When we got to Venice Sunday afternoon, we were met by the apartment owner, who walked us to our apartment. About the time we got settled in, down came the rain. It had been raining off and on all morning, but now it came down in buckets. I had been so excited to get this apartment with the terrace on the top floor, but with the rain, we still haven’t been able to sit out there and enjoy being outdoors, looking over the roof tops.

Yesterday we went to San Marco church. I told the group that we would get there early, before all the crowds, so we wouldn’t have to wait in line so long. We did…we were the first ones in line. I couldn’t believe it! Of course, some girl came up there, and got in front of us, so we then were second in line. We had a leisurely walk through the church, with time to enjoy the beauty.

After visiting the church, some of us went up into the bell tower. We had a 360 degree view of Venice.

Later, I took a walk through the city. It is like walking through a maze. I had my map handy, and made it back to the apartment without getting TOO lost. We were going to go out to dinner at a restaurant I had found, but here came the rain again. So we went out to a place closer to us, and had a light dinner.

Today, the sun was out, so we got on the vaporetto and went to the islands of Burano and Murano. Burano is known for its lace making, but I love it for its colorful houses. To me, coming into the island from the sea, the village looks like someone went wild with tempura paints.

I like this little area. I looked up at the sky, and oh, boy! We knew we were going to get some rain again.

I gathered my “ducklings” and we quickly headed for the vaporetto stop. Luck was with us. A boat was just loading to go back to Venice, and we made it onto the boat, not a minute too soon, it started raining, raining hard. We had about an hour trip back, and the rain was so heavy, sometimes it was hard to see boats near us. We all had taken umbrellas, so we were OK on the short walk back to the apartment. Within the hour, the sun was out again.

Tonight we had salad, fruit, cheese and wine for dinner here in the apartment, and now, at 9:30 p.m., we are bring treated to a brilliant lightning show, with thunder accompaniment.

In the morning, we shall decide what to do on our last day here. Whatever we decide to do, we know it will be fun.

I shall probably not post again for a few days. Thursday will be busy getting everyone to trains or planes, to leave our tour. I will leave by myself, and go to Verona. I have a ticket for the opera in the Arena for Friday night, so I will keep my fingers crossed for no rain that night.

Traveling is such a good learning experience. I learn something new each time I visit here, even if it is a place I have been many times before. I still love being a temporary Italian, and pleased that I have been able to converse better in Italian this trip.

More adventures to come. Stay tuned!

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Venice Gay Travel Resources

Venice With Dolly

Author: , September 11th, 2014

Dolly in VeniceWow! We are really on the go, now. Diane, Lynnie and Nichole all arrived here in Venice on Monday afternoon. We got settled into the apartment, took the gals on a short orientation walk, then gave them a little time to relax. In the late afternoon we had Happy Hour cocktails and snacks in the apartment, then we cooked dinner there, so we could really relax and everyone could get acquainted.

Tuesday morning we were at St. Mark’s Basilica long before it opened for visitors. We were in the first group of tourists. Then we took a walk went across the Rialto Bridge, and of course, to the Rialto Mercato.

After the Rialto, we walked back to our apartment, had lunch then everyone got to explore Venice on their own. Walking is really the easiest way to get around if you are staying on this main island. However, the vaporetti are our main transport means for getting to the other islands, and yes, back to the rail station.

Yesterday we took the vaporetto to the islands of Murano, for the glass blowing and shopping for Murano glass, then we went to the island of Burano, to see the fabulous lace work, and have lunch. For me, Burano is so pretty, with all the different colored houses.

We had a full day, so finally we were more than happy to return to the apartment for rest, cocktails and dinner, in that order. When I said “Buono notte” to everyone and went to bed, it was only 8:30 p.m. But I must have been tired, as I went right to sleep.

We were supposed to have rain yesterday, with thunderstorms. The weather gods decided to do their thing in the middle of the night. We had lightning and thunder with rain, for about an hour, around midnight. Then it settled down for a couple hours, and started all over again around 3:00 a.m. But fortunately, for us, by morning when we were ready to go exploring, we had a lovely day.

This morning was slightly drizzly for the first couple of hours that we were out and about, but again, the weather cleared up and kept us all happy…

Today we went to the Cimiteria island…the cemetery. I have wanted to do that for a long time, so today was the day. There was one section of the cemetery where only nuns were buried; another section was for soldiers killed in either the civil war or the World Wars. I thought it quite beautiful. We spent about 2 hours there.

So now we are enjoying the last day of our visit to Venice. Tomorrow we go to Bolzano for 2 nights….gateway to the Dolomites, another very favorite place for me.

So, until next time, I will say,

Arriverderci.

Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Purple Roofs | Venice Gay Travel Resources

Getting Lost in Venice

Author: , September 8th, 2014

Venice - Dolly GoolsbyYes, we are in Venice.

Our first night here, we ventured out just to sight-see, without any true destination in mind. We found a great little trattoria in a tiny square (Campo). We had a lovely seafood dinner. We were glad we had sat inside, for all at once, all the diners from the outside tables had to make a mad dash into the restaurant because of a rain shower. By the time we finished dinner, the rain had stopped and the sidewalks were barely wet. So we had an easy stroll back to the apartment…..with just a little glitch. We got lost.

We were in a little dead end campo, trying to read the map by street light, when a couple from England came along…they were lost, also, and then a young couple wandered by, with the same problem. It was funny, because here were 6 people, all wanting to be in different places, and we were all in this small space. I said to the English man that one can expect to get lost in Venice. He told me this was his eighth visit to Venice and he thought he knew his way around. I don’t know how many times I have been to Venice, but I always get lost.

Eventually we did get back to our apartment, but if there is anything certain in Venice, it is that we will get lost. We got lost again last night, too. We found places I hadn’t seen since my first visit here in 1997. Those places were nowhere near where we needed to be. But one just goes with the flow. After all, Venice is an island, so sooner or later you will find the right alley, or the right bridge, and get back home.

Today there was a big regatta on the Grand Canal. We saw a bit of it, but everywhere was so crowded, we just finally came back to the apartment on foot, as none of the vaporetto were running, due to the regatta. When we got up to San Marco Piazza, we could see the Grand Canal was filled with all sorts of boats.

Now we are just relaxing, waiting until the crowds thin out before we go out again. Who knows? Maybe we will make it back home again tonight without getting lost. But getting lost is such a great adventure, and I always feel like I have achieved a great accomplishment when I finally get to where I had planned to be. However, sometimes we would like to visit a place again, like the trattoria we found the first night, and I am not sure we will ever see it again.

Tomorrow our other 3 travelers arrive. Perhaps, as a group, we can find our way home. At least we will all be together in our “lost-ness”.

Ciao for now,

Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels | Florence Gay Travel Resources

Exploring Venice by Riva

Author: , January 26th, 2014

Carlos Melia in CeniceIf there is a perfect way to explore and discover Venice, is by having your own private riva. This is an experience I enjoy very much, and try to do as long as it is available (have done this in the past in Paris along the Seine, Bath, UK on Narrowboats, Bangkok, Thailand along the Chao Praya River on luxury rice barges, in Varanasi for the Ganga Arti, Istanbul along the Bosphorus, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico to the Islas Marietas… among many others worldwide.

It gives you a different perspective, and without a doubt the Riva is indeed unique and sophisticated experience. As you can see I am a big fan of boats and specially private ones.

From the moment we arrived to Venice Train Station, we were transferred from Venezia Santa Lucia to our hotel, the iconic Cipriani by Orient-Express. Sailing Venice on a Riva, even when using the water taxis, it is itself an experience that nobody should miss, regardless your budget.

There are many alternative options. We spent over 2 nights at the Cipriani, located on the calm and seclusion of Giudecca Island. This meant that every morning, afternoon and evening we would take our riva from the piers at the hotel to their own private dock at Piazza San Marco. Exclusive, romantic and charming.

Another lovely experience I had, was on my last day in Venice, this time staying at The Gritti Palace. After breakfast, I took a private riva, this time to the Rialto Bridge, to have lunch at the fabulous new AMAN Grand Canal.

Sailing along the Grand Canal, passing by the Gondolas, Vaporettos, under the bridges…. just magical.

What can I say, this are my kind of adventures, and I strongly recommend you try them too.

Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at The Carlos Melia Blog

Click here for gay travel resources in Venice.

Florence’s Ponte Vecchio

Author: , January 21st, 2014

Carlos Melia - FlorenceOne of the must see and visit highlights of Florence is, without a doubt, the Ponte Vecchio or Old Bridge, erected over the narrowest point of the Arno River in Medieval stone, connecting via the Vasari Corridor, the Palazzo Vecchio (Florence’s town hall) with the Palazzo Pitti.

It has always hosted shops and merchants who displayed their goods on tables before their premises, the present tenants are jewelers, art dealers and souvenir sellers.

The bridge first appears in a document of 996, being Ponte Vecchio the oldest bridge in Florence.

Some of the best views of the city and Ponte Vecchio, can be seen either from the windows of the Uffizi Gallery or from the Michelangelo Park. Corridoio Vasariano, commissioned by the Duke of Florence Cosimo I de’ Medici, so that he would not need to walk across the always crowded bridge while commuting between his residences Palazzo Vecchio and Palazzo Pitti.

Named after his creator Giorgio Vasari, was built in 1565 on top of the shops on the bridge. There are many lovely rooftops and restaurants along the Arno River overlooking the Ponte Vecchio, where to enjoy panoramic views and some romantic moments overlooks the sunset. Try perhaps the rooftop of the recently inaugurated Hotel Continental.

Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at the Carlos Melia Blog

Click here for gay travel resources in Eastern Tuscany.

Visiting Venice’s Caffe Florian

Author: , December 13th, 2013

Caffe Florian Venice - Carlos MeliaA must stop and try caffe in Venice, right on Piazza San Marco. I am a huge fan of tea time, and this traditional coffee house delivers premium experiences. Yes I agree, it can be a bit touristy, but if you choose the time of the day to visit, wisely, you will be on your own just like I did. Later on reading and researching, I found my connection to this iconic Venetian coffee house, the Argentinean connection. Caffe Florian was Jorge Luis Borges’ favorite coffee house in Venice.

Opened in 1720 in Piazza San Marco in Venice, Caffe Florian is Italy’s oldest Cafe. While seated in one of the cafe’s frescoed rooms or outside listening to the orchestra in the Piazza, one can enjoy impeccable service and products of the finest quality.

Famous for its rich history as a crossroads of art, culture, politics and entertainment.

Authored By Carlos Melia – See the Full Story at the Carlos Melia blog

Click here for gay travel resources in Venice.